The National Trust has reintroduced deer to its Dyrham Park estate, three years after the entire herd was culled for health reasons. Deer have returned to the grounds of the South Gloucestershire attraction, with visitors urged to give them space to adjust to their new surroundings.

In March 2021 the previous herd had to be culled due to high levels of bovine tuberculosis, which the Trust said was "severely impacting the health and welfare of the animals". Now the 270-acre historic parkland, which is about 20 minutes from both Bristol and Bath, is once again home to the animals.

Twenty-six fallow deer from a privately-owned estate were released earlier this week, and staff there say they have been working with specialist vet and wildlife advisors to ensure they settle in to their new home. Dyrham Park's general manager Tom Boden said: "We are absolutely delighted to share the long-awaited and brilliant news that deer are back at Dyrham Park.

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"Deer belong here. They are the very essence of the park, the name 'Dyrham' derives from a Saxon word meaning 'valley of the deer', and there's evidence of their presence here going back hundreds of years. We've been working towards this moment for three years and are thrilled to have deer here again."

A full-time park deer manager has been recruited to oversee the arrival of the herd and look after their health and welfare. Measures have been put in place including adapting the 'deer sanctuary' to include more space sheltered by trees, rolling out a badger vaccination project, the addition of new fencing, deer grids and of specialised water troughs.

Tom added: "We know that our visitors will be just as excited as we are to hear this news and understand their desire to catch a glimpse of the new herd. We wanted to close for the shortest time possible to avoid disruption to visitors but primarily so that the deer get used to having people around.

"However, we do urge visitors not to seek out the deer and, that if they do come across them, to keep their distance so as not to startle or unsettle them in any way. They are wild animals and it's important that we give them the time and space they need to get used to their new home and we must respect their need for calm and quiet."